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National Nutrition Month

March is the official National Nutrition Month, though we definitely advocate a focus on healthy food and eating all year round! There are many perspectives on what "healthy" means, and numerous plans and diets these days to choose from, but we believe that healthy doesn't need to be complicated. At Engrained, healthy means natural, unprocessed ingredients, locally sourced produce, and pastured meat and eggs. Eating healthy starts with knowing where your food comes from, and one of the best places to do that is our local Farmers Market.

Thank you to Molly Gleason at the Illinois Stewardship Alliance for sharing her recent article on the Winter Farmers Market with us.

Springfield Winter Farmers Market Grows in Second Season

Molly Gleason

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

The Springfield Winter Farmers Market kicks off its second season on Saturday, January 27, 2018 with expanded options for shoppers and an increase in local vendors. The market fills the gap in year-round availability of local food, giving shoppers access to fresh produce and local proteins throughout the winter and providing farmers with an outlet to market their products and earn income during the winter months.

The winter market takes place on the 4th Saturday of each month, January – April, 2018 for a total of 4 markets. These free events are held at the Third Presbyterian Church on 1030 N 7th St. in Enos Park Neighborhood from 9 a.m. – 12 noon. Upcoming market dates include:

Saturday, March 24 Saturday, April 28

“We’re thrilled to welcome a lot of new vendors to the market this season, and offer even more produce– which is something that shoppers requested last year–as well as more grab-and-go options like homemade ramen and seasonal smoothies,” says Molly Gleason, Communications Director for Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

Shoppers at the Winter Farmers Markets can expect to find 16 local vendors, including 8 new vendors, selling a wide variety of products such as pasture-raised pork, beef, chicken, eggs, honey, greens, carrots, potatoes, winter squashes, kale, and root vegetables. In addition to proteins and produce, shoppers can expect to find locally grown and prepared hot sauces and spice blends, jams, jellies, herbal teas, herbal soaps, and baked goods.

Coffee will once again be available from local roaster Custom Cup, and new vendor Copper Pot Cooking Studiowill be preparing homemade ramen noodle soup featuring seasonal vegetables and proteins from local farmers. New vendor SmartNatured Smoothies will create smoothies featuring many seasonal ingredients as well. Live music will be provided once again by Peaches and Bacon.

The goal of the market is two-fold: to support local farmers and to provide Springfield residents with access to fresh, locally grown food. Unlike most other markets across Illinois, all growers at the market have a commitment to sustainable and humane practices and all prepared food vendors at the market have a commitment to purchasing from local farmers. LINK cards will be accepted, and the Double Value Program offered by the Old Capitol Farmers Market will also be available, matching up to $25 for LINK recipients to use on fresh fruits and vegetables. This means LINK recipients can swipe their card for $25 and receive an additional $25 to use on produce, doubling their purchasing power and making wholesome meals available to families across Springfield.

“This market is all about community support,” adds Gleason. “The farmers support the community by providing fresh, wholesome food; the bakers and chefs support the farmers by purchasing their ingredients; and local businesses and organizations support the market through sponsorships and volunteers. All of the money generated stays local and goes to businesses and families that care about taking care of the land, animals, and people around Springfield. You can’t shop at the winter farmers market and not walk away feeling good about that.”

The full list of vendors and a description of their products can be found below:

  • (New!) 4 Lees Farm:grass fed Angus cattle, chicken, and eggs from free range chickens, and produce using organic practices.

  • (New!) Honey Creek Farm:Honey, vegetables, flowers, jams, natural bath products made from Honey Creek Farm products, spice blends, dried spices, and teas all naturally and organically grown on the farm.

  • (New!) Legacy of the Land:Legacy of the Land, LLC, is a group of 11 family farms straddling Mclean, Livingston, Woodford and DeWitt counties. The group formed in the winter of 2012 to provide a business, educational and community network that makes small-scale, sustainable farming a viable livelihood for more Central Illinois farm families. The member’s raise their animals and grow their crops with care and are committed to providing chemical free, non-GMO products to their customers.

  • (New!) Sitka Salmon:wild caught Alaskan seafood directly from our small-boat fishermen.

  • (New!) JimmySticks: Hot sauces, relishes, and spice blends made from their locally-grown peppers.

  • (New!) Umland Cheese: Crunchy snack cheeses. A new way to eat cheese! Umland is a family-owned business that purchases cheese from Wisconsin and specially processes it in their facility in central Illinois to create a snackable cheese with a unique crunchy texture.

  • (New!) SmartNatured Smoothies: Wholesome smoothies made with seasonal produce

  • (New!) Copper Pot Cooking Studio: Homemade ramen noodle soup featuring seasonal proteins and produce from local farmers.

  • Jon & Emma’s Place:grass-fed beef, organic vegetables and herbs, and unique offering from our greenhouse such as guava and turmeric.

  • Oak Tree Farm:fresh produce, free range brown eggs, and specialty finished pork.

  • Papa’s Pasture:Berkshire pork raised on pasture and sold in a variety of individual cuts. Berkshire pork is prized for its superior texture, flavor and marbling.

  • R&R Farm:Hydroponically raised tomatoes, herbs, strawberries, and a wide variety of produce, as well as outdoor raised pork.

  • Choice Roots Farm: Organically raised vegetables, herbs, and houseplants

  • Greenthoughts Garden:herbal soaps, balms, oils and skin care products

  • Natural Artistry:All natural pet treats, jams, jellies, cookies, pies, cakes, breads and a special garden juice, all made with many organic, natural, locally sourced ingredients. Also a line of raised garden beds, compost bins, as well as all natural lotions and scrubs, and hand made pet blankets and pet toys.

  • Lisa’s Bakery:Homemade baked goods made with the best quality ingredients.

The Winter Farmers Market grew out of a collaboration between Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Lincoln Land Community College, and the Third Presbyterian Church and is guided by a steering committee of members from the respective organizations as well as other local partners.

The Springfield Winter Farmers Markets this year would not be made possible without the generous support of our amazing sponsors: Slow Food Springfield, Lincoln Land Community College, Third Presbyterian Church, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, The Peoples Bank and Trust of Springfield, the Community Missions Network, as well as anonymous donors.

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